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Thread: Canberra Fires




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    362

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    I been around a bit and I don't scare too easily but the last 24hours in Canberra has been terrifying.

    2 dead
    3 seriously burned
    400 homes burned...yes 400
    roads closed...can't contact relatives and friends
    families separated
    30% Canberra without power
    suburbs evacuated and then the evacuation points evacuated
    the local school oval is acting as a refueling point for the water bombing helicopters...I counted 15 this morning on the oval with 2 of the huge Erricson helicranes (elvis was one of them) and a third arrived a little while ago...
    we were evacuated at midnight last night but allowed back this morning...
    the daughter and grandkids evacuated and not back yet...they don't know if they have a house left.....at least they are safe....they got out just in time as the helicranes waterbombed less that 100 meteres from their place....

    the in laws 3 families lost houses

    all up they reckon half a billion in damage

    and its starting up again as the temp goes up and the winds are picking up again....tomorrow will be worse in weather terms...strong westerly winds and 38 degrees C forecast.....

    all I can hear is the "whoomp whoomp whoomp" of the helicopters as they fly less that 50 metres above as they land for fuel

    Pray for those who have lost loved ones and everything they own....
    The older I get...the better I was

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Here.....of course!
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    My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones, as there's nothing more heartbreaking.

    I fell very sorry for the people that have lost their houses and the possessions that can't be replaced like photos etc.....

    Reminds me of fires previous to this when many people forget, or put off paying their house insurances and get caught out when things like this happen.

    During these fires it is a very real fear that brings communities together, everyone pictures in and helps each other to over come their loses, they all put in their hearts and soles to help re-build what has been destroyed and to support people whom have lost loved ones come to terms with these sorts of tragedies and help to try and soften the blow.

    Look after old-bugger, don't take any unnecessary risks, and if the time comes that you have to get out of the house then do so, just gather your family together, your photo albums if you have time and get the hell out.

    You can always replace your house and furniture but you can't replace a family.

    Our prayers are with you.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    362

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    Thanx

    The dorta's house saved OK and they are back there for a short time then off to the evacuation centre again......weather has been kinder today but tomorrow will be just as bad as yesterday...
    The inlaws having worse luck..one of their insurance policies lapsed in December and it looks like the insurance company is gunna play hard ball. The only thing she got out with is the clothes on her back....but she and her family is safe and OK.

    You're right...the community is really puling together with donations of food, clothing and cash and offers of shelter for those who lost houses...

    You can't buy a battery in Canberra at the moment...all snaffled by those without power (and rightly so)....

    I went into the city ...away from the fires and it seems like everyone is just dumb-struck......in a daze ...

    and the smoke too....its everywhere along with the fine grey-black ash which is settling on everything.....

    just lucky the loss of life was not any higher...that's one good thing
    The older I get...the better I was

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
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    1,158

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    This is an unbelievable situation...I've never seen anything like this. Yesterday, around 2:00pm I finish training at the gym. As I get to my car, I find my parents have called me, so I call back and hear that their place (in Chapman, southwest canberra) is almost black with smoke.

    I quickly rush down there, with things getting darker and smokier the closer I get. This is what I see when I get there:


    It's like a scene from hell. Very hard to breathe and very difficult to see anything. We start packing stuff into boxes and I try to find the cat. Eventually everything is ready, and just as I grab the cat a fire truck comes down the street telling us to "prepare to evacuate".

    Literally 10 seconds after that we're running to the cars, the roar of the firestorm and what seems like volcanic ash and huge winds almost stopping me from getting into my car. We all set off down the road with the fire metres behind us.

    As we get onto the main roads, the traffic is chocking the roads. Hard to breathe and see, some of the traffic lights are out, but thankfully people stay relatively orderly.

    We return to the house hours later, despite warnings, to find virtually the whole street is gone:



    Incredibly, my parent's house is completely untouched, with only the back fence burnt down. Some local heroes had stayed despite warning from police about being arrested, and put out the fires at my parent's house and a few others:



    I'm completely stunned as to the randomness of the fire damage. Our place is fine, across the road there's some damage, down the road some buildings were still burning when we got there and are now rubble.

    Late last night around 2:00am a fire sprang up in another part of our fence, but it was put out quickly. I'm exhausted from hauling water, running around trying to help people, cutting down trees from the exposed power lines, etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Taipei, Taiwan
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    PI, what can I say... You and your family are very lucky but it seems Canberra has a lot to deal with now with over 3500 homeless.

    Like someone said on the news just now: "Australia is a great place but it can be so cruel"


    :(
    Cameron "Mr.Tweak" Wilmot
    Managing Director
    Tweak Town Pty Ltd

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    4,246

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    PersianImmortal, I'm gald to know that you have been spared the fate of many of your neighbors...and Oldbugger, it dosn't sound like you are out of the woods yet, so be careful and good luck. It seems so strange to hear of these events when I look out my window and see snow on the ground...
    I've gone too far and need to move on!

  7. #7
    Beefy Guest

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    4 dead and 388 homes confirmed... Not a pretty sight either.

    You guys are going to be feeling the repercussions of this for a long time yet. I hope all goes well..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Something is happening somewhere again...the winds have picked up (from the east this time) but we are getting helicopters over my place every 30 seconds at the moment......those helicranes are bloody huge......
    The official toll of houses was 388 this morning and several have gone up since then...although there are reports that this is too high and the cost is about $AU200m and not the half a billion mentioned this morning.....add lost productivity and who knows...but its not the dollars cost it is the emotional and psychological hurt that will take its toll.
    The older I get...the better I was

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    New England Highlands, Australia
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    21,907

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    Good to hear that most of ya down there are ok. :thumb:

    The houses can be replaced but lives can't. :(

    Yes those big skycranes are something to watch as they drop their hose into the canal 2 doors down and fill up to be off again. :eek:
    <center>:cheers:</center>

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Ballarat, VIC
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    1,011

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    Hmmmmmm......................Wouldn't mind $10,000 atm

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